Arlington Takes More Assertive Measures to Protect Pedestrians
In keeping with a new Virginia law, Arlington has adopted an ordinance requiring motorists to stop—not yield—for pedestrians in a crosswalk. New roadway markings and signs will reflect this change.
In September 2023, the Arlington County Board adopted an ordinance requiring motorists to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk instead of yield, and to stop when a person walking is approaching from the other side of the road, even if that person hasn’t yet reached their lane.
The ordinance follows a change in a Virginia law that took effect in July 2023, Virginia State Code 46.2.924.
The significance of this change in Arlington is detailed on NBC4 Washington.
New Roadway Markings Reinforce the Law
To reinforce this law, in November 2023 Arlington County’s Transportation, Engineering, and Operations Bureau, which is part of the Department of Environmental Services, began replacing all “Yield to Pedestrians” signs in the County with “Stop for Pedestrians,” signs. Eventually, all “Yield to Pedestrians” signs will be replaced.
In addition, all the supporting yield roadway markings, also known as “shark teeth,” will be replaced with stop bars. These markings tell drivers to stop several feet before the crosswalk if they see a person walking. This makes it easier for all drivers to see a pedestrian in a crosswalk and gives the person walking the chance to make eye contact with drivers and confirm that drivers see them.
The County will replace 84 “Yield to Pedestrians” signs with “Stop for Pedestrians” signs by spring 2024.
Research shows that such low-cost treatments can reduce pedestrian crashes by 15 percent.
To learn more about how road signs and other roadway markings are keeping people safe in Arlington, visit the County’s Vision Zero Multimodal Safety Engineering Toolbox webpage.